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Mansimran Singh Kahlon hopes to become Virginia’s first Sikh Elected Official

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Mansimran Singh Kahlon
Mansimran Singh Kahlon

Mansimran Singh Kahlon (second from right), Democratic candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates from the 13th District, with his family at the 2017 Punjabi Mela held on Mother’s Day at the Bull Run Regional Park in Virginia.

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — India-born Democrat Mansimran Singh Kahlon has officially declared his candidacy for Virginia’s House of Delegates, he hopes to become the state’s first Sikh-American elected official.

Kahlon is bidding for the seat which represents the state’s 13th District, which encompasses Gainesville and Manassas Park in Prince William County.

“Currently, there is no Sikh in any state elected office or state legislature in the entire country,” Kahlon told the American Bazaar. Primary elections for the Virginia House of Delegates are just around the corner — June 13 — with statewide elections slated for November 7.

A resident of Gainesville, Kahlon has spent the entirety of his stay in the U.S. in northern Virginia since arriving to the country at the ripe age of three. He attended Rutgers University and now runs a trucking company as a local business owner. Kahlon is hoping to unseat Bob Marshall, a 24-year Republican incumbent in a district which is over 60 percent white and about 11 percent Asian. He remains undeterred.

“I’m really passionate about serving our community and the general community,” he told the Bazaar. 

Kahlon also spoke about the upswing in racial attacks on Indian-Americans and other minorities and the divisive rhetoric, directed in large part against Muslims.

“If people are going after others right now, what makes us think that we are not being targeted,” he said. “Sikhs have been targeted post 9/11. It’s time we stand up for not only ourselves, but others. Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims, all have to realize that we are all stronger together, not divided. There are many forces out there trying to divide us. Together, we can accomplish legislation that is aimed at making our lives easier, and that of our neighbors.”

“I never put the interests of my community above or below others – we are all the same,” Kahlon said. “We all have the same vision where our kids can walk the cul-de-sac without the fear of the pigment of their skin.”

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Exclusive: Judges Srinivasan, Rao kickoff SABA virtual conference

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Srinivasan

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — Diya TV is home to the South Asian Bar Association virtual conference this weekend, which got kicked off by perhaps the two most powerful Indian American lawyers in the nation: Chief Judge Sri Srinivasan & Circuit Judge Neomi Rao, both of whom serve in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, considered the second most powerful court in the nation to only the Supreme Court. We’ll update you on their conversation and preview this weekend’s virtual gala featuring Stacy Abrams, Preet Bharara, Vanita Gupta, Ajit Pai and many others.

Meanwhile, Judges Srinivasan and Rao may get another Indian American colleague, as President Trump nominated Vijay Shanker to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Democratic Party announced they will be conducting their convention virtually from Milwaukee.

Indian American Jeremy Cooney is leading in the race for New York State’s 56th Senate District, with absentee ballots still to be factored in.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Satellite images show larger Chinese presence at Indian border

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LADAKH, India (Diya TV)  — While the ongoing fracas between India and China has not led to all-out war yet, satellite images indicate China is sending a larger group of troops and building infrastructure in Galwan Valley, site of that vicious clash that killed 20 Indian troops, and a reported 43 Chinese soldiers. It was the first loss of life in battle for the Chinese in more than 40 years. U.S. intelligence decreed China instigated the battle and India says China has been staffing up in the area since May. Following the release of the satellite images, China says India is to blame.

The U.S. is regressing in its battle against COVID-19, setting a new single day record for coronavirus cases at more than 37,000. The virus has infected nearly 10 million people globally, a quarter of that total in the U.S. The death toll now stands at 125,000 in the United States, with Florida, Texas, Arizona and California seeing major increases.

Pakistani-American Qasim Rashid advanced in the Democratic primary in Virginia’s First Congressional District. ​He’ll take on longtime incumbent Republican Congressman Robert Wittman in the fall.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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As critics fume, Modi says India was not breached by China

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NEW DELHI (Diya TV)  — During an all-party political leaders meeting, Indian Prime Minister Modi told the group China did not breach Indian territory in Ladakh, nor was any Indian Army border post captured. Modi emphasized India will protect Galwan Valley, the region where the clash killing 20 Indian soldiers and a reported 43 Chinese soldiers took place. But Modi’s critics say the situation was an intelligence failure and many want Modi to strike back with force. Meanwhile, in a statement, the Chinese Government pinned the conflict on India and is laying claim to the entire valley region.

India was elected as a Non-Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council for a 2-year term starting next year, receiving 184 out of 192 valid votes.

And in a wild Friday night surprise, the Justice Department said Geoffrey Berman, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York would be stepping down, to be replaced by Jay Clayton, the current Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. But in a statement, Berman said he’s not leaving until Congress confirms someone & his investigations, including into folks allied with President Trump, will continue.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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